What makes industrial maintenance teams succeed in occupational safety?

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Maintenance is one of the high-risk jobs in industry, because repairs are usually a matter of urgency and there may not be recent experience of a similar case. How can the risk of injury be minimised?

The best way to prevent damage is constant anticipation. It requires everyone’s commitment to a safe and responsible way of working.

Maintpartner has a significantly lower accident frequency rate than the industry average, in 2017 it was 26. In addition to oneself and others staying healthy, a monetary reward adds to motivation. At Maintpartner, each employee can earn monthly safety bonus based on the team’s accident-free performance and registering of adequate number of near miss reports.

Experienced employees help younger ones, and communication is open in Kokkola

”In the Kokkola Industrial Park, all customers apply work permit practice requiring a safety analysis. It makes you consider the risks in advance,” describes Petri Hautamäki the underlying success factors of the 38-person construction and HVAC team, which is one of the Maintpartner teams in Kokkola.

In Kokkola, the team’s foreman allocates job tasks at various customer sites to technicians. At the same time, also safety-related guidelines can be given. Technicians work for many customers and can’t always remember all necessary details at the beginning. Young employees are always accompanied by more experienced ones when going to a customer plant.

”An open discussion atmosphere is important! In our team, we advise each other what needs to be taken into account in various tasks or work objects,” Hautamäki thanks his team. The team members also register near miss cases with Maintpartner’s user-friendly mobile application.

Excellent staff attitude towards work safety is the basis of everything in Joensuu

Timo Parkkonen from the 23-person maintenance team at Joensuu power plant explains that their safety work is long-term. Maintpartner provides regular safety material and training which inspires and raises discussions on how to improve safety.

”Near miss reports, safety moments and observation walks support safe working culture. The existing work permit practice with its documented process isolation instructions provide us with a good basis for safe working,” says Parkkonen.

Bakery maintenance is taken care of by a seven-person team around the clock

Kari Pyötsiä from Kuusankoski tells: ”We have a small team and a good spirit. The staff knows the plant well – I started here 16 years ago when the bakery was opened. A couple of years ago, we asked to renew the work shift system so that the on-call duty load is reduced and we can focus on our work well rested.”

Kuusankoski, like all other Maintpartner locations, shows the latest safety material also on info screens. Pyötsiä constantly meets the team members in person to go things over. They have also a Messenger group: “There is only one person in each shift so we have established a Messenger group for the team’s communication. There we help each other, even when off-duty.”

Safe working at Maintpartner is based on the following:

  1. Prevention is the key. When you think before starting the work what you are going to do and how, a large part of the risks have already been handled.
  2. Habit and routines help – once started, it is easy to continue with the good habit.
  3. One-off rewards (such as luncheon vouchers or culture vouchers) for registering near misses are a quick motivator. Also the monthly safety bonus inspires.
  4. Building up team spirit and safety culture lies much on superiors who need to have functioning tools and adequate competence for it.